Netherlands renewables tender pushes offshore solar forward

The image shows Oceans of Energy's 0.5MW offshore solar project in the North Sea.
Since its deployment in 2019, Oceans of Energy system has withstood waves up to 9.9 meters in the North Sea conditions. Image: Oceans of Energy.

As Asia continues to be the key driver for floating solar, in Europe the Netherlands are the ones pushing forward in terms of offshore solar.

At the Intersolar Europe 2023 trade event in Munich, Germany, PV Tech spoke with Jasper Lemmens, senior consultant of solar energy at DNV and Magnus Johannesen, engineer, environmental loading and response energy systems at DNV on the state of floating solar in Europe, and how the Netherlands has become one of the forefront leaders to push forward offshore solar to a commercial stage.

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The country has started to seek offshore solar capacity with a first tender that sought 5MW, and a further one with up to 100MW of offshore solar which gets awarded through a point-system that could make easier for a developer to get the tender awarded as it co-locates offshore wind with solar capacity.

These tenders could help kickstart the development of more and more offshore solar projects, while at the same time accelerating the establishment of standardisation and certification for the nascent technology.

DNV is currently working on publishing its standards paper for floating solar (FPV) next year, which would give the industry a better understanding of the technology and which equipment is best suited for FPV.

“At some point, we might do certification as well, because there are no standards yet for offshore floating. At this moment, we are writing two standards where inland and nearshore is the main focus, but it will also be applicable for offshore” says Lemmens.

On the opposite spectrum, Germany’s regulations at the moment do not allow for much progress towards more FPV projects being developed, while other countries such as Italy, Belgium or France are moving ahead which will give a better boost for a technology that is still improving.

Despite being a German company, floating system provider Intech Clean Energy said to PV Tech that Germany’s regulation makes things much more complicated to develop floating projects in the country.

With such a nascent technology, the standardisation and certification for floating solar are still not out yet, however DNV is planning on releasing standards for inland and nearshore solar in the near future.

More to follow on the conversation with DNV about floating solar and offshore solar…

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